Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - December 7, 2018


Sino-India Joint Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018


  • Exercise Hand-in-Hand is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India and China.

Connect to the exercise

  • The joint exercise for the year 2018 will be conducted from 10 to 23 December 2018 at Chengdu, China.
  • The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.
  • The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an International Counter Insurgency/ Counter Terrorist environment under UN mandate.
  • Troops from the Indian side have been selected from 11 SIKHLI of Indian Army, while troops from a unit of Tibetan military district will be taking part.
  • Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018 will go a long way to further cement relationship between both the nations and will act as a catalyst in bringing bonhomie at grassroots levels between the armies of both countries.


Cabinet approves MoC between India and Japan in the field of Environment cooperation

Connect to the benefits

  • The MoC will enable establishment and promotion of closer and long-term cooperation between India and Japan in the field of environment protection and management of natural resources on the basis of equity, reciprocity and mutual benefits, taking into account the applicable laws and legal provisions in each country.

The need of the hour

  • Environmental degradation falls on the socially and economically disadvantaged, more heavily than better-off sections of the society.
  • Any effort at thwarting environmental degradation would lead to environmental equity in the sense of availability of sound environmental resources to all sections of the society.
  • The MoC is expected to bring in the latest technologies and best practices suited for bringing about better environment protection, better conservation, better management of climate change and bio-diversity conservation.

Farmer’s Welfare Schemes

Agriculture Export Policy, 2018


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Agriculture Export Policy, 2018.
  • The Cabinet has also approved the proposal for establishment of Monitoring Framework at Centre with Commerce as the nodal Department with representation from various line Ministries/Departments and Agencies and representatives of concerned State Governments, to oversee the implementation of Agriculture Export Policy.


  • The Government has come out with a policy to double farmers’ income by 2022.
  • Exports of agricultural products would play a pivotal role in achieving this goal.
  • In order to provide an impetus to agricultural exports, the Government has come out with a comprehensive “Agriculture Export Policy” aimed at doubling the agricultural exports and integrating Indian farmers and agricultural products with the global value chains

Connect to the Objectives of the Agriculture Export Policy

  • To double agricultural exports from present ~US$ 30+ Billion to ~US$ 60+ Billion by 2022 and reach US$ 100 Billion in the next few years thereafter, with a stable trade policy regime.
  • To diversify our export basket, destinations and boost high value and value added agricultural exports including focus on perishables.
  • To promote novel, indigenous, organic, ethnic, traditional and non-traditional Agri products exports.
  • To provide an institutional mechanism for pursuing market access, tackling barriers and deal with sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues.
  • To strive to double India’s share in world agri exports by integrating with global value chain at the earliest.
  • Enable farmers to get benefit of export opportunities in overseas market.

Foundation stone of PUSA ‘Kisan Haat’ in ICAR’s Agriculture Technology Information Centre (ATIC)


  • Foundation stone of Pusa Kisan Haat in ICAR’s Agricultural Technology Information Centre (ATIC) in New Delhi

Connect to the benefits of ATIC

  • Farmers can sell their agricultural produce and value-added products. At the same time, the technology and value-added products developed by the institutions of the ICAR will be available here for the farmers and visitors.
  • Pusa Kisan Haat will also have 'Technology Park' in which farmers can see Live crop technologies of Pusa. Facilities like food plaza, open-air theater with a seating capacity of 100 people, conference hall, museum, Lab and lecture hall. It will also have facility for agricultural consultation services, seeds and literature for farmers.

Connect to ICAR

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous body responsible for co-ordinating agricultural education and research in India.
  • It reports to the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Ministry of Agriculture.
  • The Union Minister of Agriculture serves as its president.
  • It is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world.
  • The Committee to Advise on Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education (Yashpal Committee, 2009) has recommended setting up of a constitutional body — the National
  • Commission for Higher Education and Research — which would be a unified supreme body to regulate all branches of higher education including agricultural education.
  • Presently, regulation of agricultural education is the mandate of ICAR, Veterinary Council of India (Veterinary sub-discipline) and Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (Forestry sub-discipline).
  • The UPA government has included Yashpal Committee recommendations in its '100 days agenda' premier institute of agriculture in India

Economic Reforms

Annual Startup India Venture Capital Summit 2018 to be held in Goa


  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Government of Goa, is hosting the annual Startup India Venture Capital Summit in Goa on December 07, 2018.
  • The theme of the Summit is ‘Mobilizing Global Capital for Innovation in India.’

Connect to the events

  • The event will showcase the Indian startup opportunity for funds from around the world.
  • The summit aims to attract more global capital into the country.
  • The event will enable a dialogue between Government and experienced Venture Capital fund managers on ways to further promote the startup ecosystem in India.
  • The key objectives of the Summit will be to showcase the India opportunity, increase capital flow for Indian startups and further promote ease of doing business.

Indian’s startup statics

  • India has the world’s third largest startup base with more than 14,000 recognized Startups.
  • More than 8,200 startups were recognized by DIPP in 2018 alone, leading to the creation of more than 89,000 new jobs this year, taking the total job creation contribution of recognized Startups to 1,41,775.
  • Government of Goa is focused on building a vibrant startup ecosystem in the state. It aims to make the state, one of the most preferred start-up destinations in India, and ensure that Goa features in the top 25 start-up destinations in Asia by 2025.


MoU between India and Armenia on joint issue of postage stamp


  • The Union Cabinet was apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Armenia on joint issue of postage stamp.
  • As per the MoU, Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications and the National Postal Operator of Armenia (“HayPost” CJSC) mutually agreed to jointly issue Postage Stamps on India-Armenia:Joint Issue on the theme “Dance
  • The Commemorative Postage Stamps depict “Manipuri Dance” of India and “HovArek Dance” of Armenia.


Cabinet approves Amendment of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951


  • The decisions aims to suitably amend the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951 so as to secure representation as Trustees, “the Leader of Opposition recognized as such in the House of the People, or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in the House”.

Connect to the benefits

  • In the existing Act, there is a provision for representation of a single national political party. Deletion of the party specific member from the Trust will make it apolitical.
  • The proposed amendment ensures representation of the Opposition Party in the Trust.
  • The proposed Amendment will empower the Government to terminate and replace a Trustee to participate in functioning of the Trust or for any other reason.


National Integration tour


  • A group of 26 students of different age groups accompanied by seven teachers from the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura on National Integration Tour visited Delhi and interacted with Lieutenant General Devraj Anbu

Connect to the tour

  • The National Integration Tours are educational and motivational tours for youth of Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern States, with an aim to provide an insight into the rich heritage of the country as well as various developmental and industry initiatives that are underway.
  • This initiative will expose them to various career options and enable them to interact with renowned personalities.
  • The National Integration Tour has been initiated as part of the Indian Army’s ongoing outreach programme to foster the spirit of National Integration across the entire swathe of the country.

Information and Technology

NATIONAL CHALLENGE for Youth-“Ideate for India- Creative Solutions using Technology”


  • National Challenge for Youths, “Ideate for India - Creative Solutions using Technology”, has been launched


  • The aim of this National Challenge is to give school students across the country a platform and opportunity to become solution creators for the problems they see around them and their communities.

Connect to Ideate for India

  • Ideate for India will empower and enable these students to transition from being ‘users’ of technology to become ‘creators’ of new indigenous technologies to solve local problems in their community by re-imagining solutions to work out critical local issues.
  • The Challenge has been designed and launched by the National e-Governance Division, Ministry of Electronics & IT in collaboration with Intel India, with support from the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSE&L), Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • The DoSE&L will help reach out to State Education Departments, NVS, KVS and CBSE authorities to propagate the National Challenge amongst schools across the country.
  • The National Challenge is open to students of classes 6 - 12 all across the country - all 29 States and 7 Union Territories and aims to reach out to at least 1 million youth over the next 3 months.

Connect to the process of selection

  • There are 11 core theme areas on which students can share their ideas- healthcare services, education services, digital services, environment, women safety, traffic, infrastructure, agriculture, social welfare, disability and tourism.
  • The Challenge requires students to access online videos and understand how to identify problems and share a 90 second video explaining the problem and their proposed solution.
  • From the submitted ideas in the form of videos, around 360 students (10 students per State & UT) will be selected by a panel of experts to attend 5 regional Boot Camps organized in North, South, East, West and North Eastern regions of the country ( 1 in each region).
  • At the regional boot camps, students will get trained by technology experts and mentors to gain a first level/basic understanding of skills such as design thinking, ideation - idea generation, making, do-it-yourself concepts, collaboration etc with real time hands-on working sessions on basic electronics, robotics, 3D printing and introduction to IOT/Artificial Intelligence.
  • Mentoring will be provided by experts at these camps to ensure that ideas mature as prototypes.
  • The experts will select top 50 students who will be invited and felicitated at a National Level Event to showcase their prototypes implemented in communities and will be declared Tech Creation Champions.
  • “Ideate for India” National Challenge will help inculcate innovation skills in youth and equip all students to utilise technology for the betterment of their communities and the society at large. Simultaneously, this will prepare them to contribute towards the realization of Digital India goals.

Infrastructure Development

Kolkata-Patna becomes India’s second container cargo sector on Inland Waterways


  • After the success of container cargo being shipped from Kolkata to Varanasi earlier this year, Bihar’s capital Patna will be witness to a new landmark in India’s Inland Water Transport (IWT) sector with 16 TEUs of container cargo (equivalent to 16 truckloads) belonging to food giants PepsiCo India and Emami Agrotech Ltd from Kolkata reaching the city’s Gaighat IWT terminal on river Ganga next week.

Connect to the 2nd voyage

  • Inland Waterways Authority of India’s (IWAI) vessel MV RN Tagore sailed from Kolkata’s Garden Reach Jetty today with the PepsiCo and Emami Agrotech products.
  • It will reach the IWT terminal at Patna in 6-7 days after an 815 kms long voyage on river Ganga (National Waterway-1).
  • The cargo will be unloaded at IWAI’s inter-modal terminal at Gaighat in Patna from where onward cargo will be loaded.

Connect to NW 1

  • The Ministry of Shipping is developing NW-1 (River Ganga) under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) from Haldia to Varanasi (1390 Km) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5369 crore.
  • The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT.
  • The movement will give a fillip to the region’s growth and employment. According to the World Bank economic analysis, of the 1.5 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities to be created due to interventions under JMVP, 50,000 will be in Bihar alone.

Sources – PIB ,The Hindu , My Gov